Category: aids for daily living

DIY Separating Sides of the Hand Activity

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This DIY Separating Sides of the Hand Activity is a do-it-yourself activity designed for children to practice with an Occupational Therapist the motoric separating the sides of their hand and to draw attention to the separation of the two sides of the hand, a fine motor skill that is essential for activities such as using scissors, holding a pencil and zippering.

Technical Specifications: 

Step One: Cut up a kitchen sponge into 1-inch x 1-inch squares.

Step Two: Wet the sponges.

Step Three: Place one sponge square into the palm of the child's hand. Ask them to close their pinkie finger and ring finger around the sponge to hold it in place. The sponge should not hold enough water so that it drips down the palm of the hand and wrist. For kids that need more cues to hold the ulnar side of the hand with closed fingers, the therapist can add more water to the sponge.  

Step Four: The child squeezes the sponge down with the ring and pinkie fingers, and the water will drip out of the sponge.

Step Five: The therapist uses another sponge square in the remaining fingers (middle and pointer fingers and thumb).  The child can squeeze the sponge to remove water with just the precision fingers.  

Note: To make this activity more difficult, add water to just one sponge while keeping the other sponge dry. Then, ask them to squeeze the water from the wet sponge with the appropriate fingers.


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DIY Separating Sides of the Hand Activity

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The OT Toolbox

The OT Toolbox is a website with ideas and tools for teachers, therapists, and parents.